KINGSTON -- Kingston may be in the green zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 restrictions, but it won’t look that way on St. Patrick’s Day.

The city’s top doctor is imposing new rules on social gatherings and alcohol sales at bars and restaurants in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the celebrations.

Medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore says the new measures on gatherings are necessary to prevent illness due to increasing concerns of COVID-19 variants across the province.

Kingston is in the green zone of Ontario's COVID-19 reopening framework, allowing bars and restaurants to serve alcohol until 2 a.m. and no rules on the number of people sitting at a table. Social gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 orders.

On Thursday. Dr. Moore issued a Class order pursuant to Section 22 covering Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington to address St. Patrick's Day celebrations and other festivities between Saturday, March 13 at 12 a.m. and Sunday, March 21 at 11:59 p.m.

Under the order, last call will be 10 p.m. at all businesses that serve alcohol, and all establishments must close between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Alcohol can only be sold and served between 12 p.m. and 10 p.m. 

The health unit says all patrons must be seated when served, and only five people can sit at a table at one time.

There will be no dancing, singing and live music performances in establishments over the St. Patrick's Day weekend.

As for social gatherings at private residences, a maximum of five people will be allowed at all indoor and outdoor gatherings.

"Given the increasing concerns of COVID-19 variants, and the risks of potential spread of COVID-19 related to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, these measures are prudent and necessary to prevent illness and the spread of COVID-19," said Dr. Moore in a statement. "I want to thank the community for their continued vigilance and support in keeping our community safe and want to emphasize the importance of continuing to adhere to public health measures."

Any violations of the Class Order can result in a fine of up to $5,000 for individuals and $25,000 for businesses.


Last call will be 10 p.m. in Kingston from March 13 to 21, not 11 p.m. as previously stated.